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The 118th police battalion

G. Vassiura — Head of the 118th police battalion headquarters

The 118th police battalion was formed late in 1942 in the city of Kiev. It was made of Soviet hooked prisoners of war, deserters and criminals who agreed to cooperate with invaders. They had special training in different German schools, they wore German uniform and swore fealty to Hitler. Doing so they betrayed their Motherland. In Kiev the battalion was especially notorious for annihilating people in Babi Yar. That outrage and ferocity was like a good letter of reference for them to be sent to Belorussia. The battalion arrived in the small of town of Pleschinitsy. Each department was headed by a chief. He was a German officer in charge of his people and it was him who supervised their crimes. The 118th police battalion chief was a Sturmbannfuhrer (SS Major) Erich Kerner. Hans Welke was the chief of one of the companies. (He was the 1936 Olympic Games champion in shotput). When the war started Welke was not sent to the eastern front. He earned all of his iron Crosses at the rear. It was him who partisans finished off at the road fork for Pleschinitsy, Logoisk, Kozyry and Khatyn. Grigory Vassiura was chief of the 118th police battalion headquarters. His outrage knew no limits. He was cruel even with his subordinates. He participated in many punitive operations which deprived hunderds of innocent people of their lives.

A court trial was held in Minsk in 1986. A hangman of Khatyn G. Vassiura was tried there. The 14 volumes of case No. 104 abounded in many vivid facts of awesome outrage of the punisher. Vassiura was found guilty of all his crimes and by the verdict of the military tribunal of the Belorussian military district was sentenced to death by capital punishment.

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